What makes us as the gay community stand out against those who strive against marriage equality, or equality for LGBT people in general? What type of attitude do we want to convey to the public at large? There seems to be alot of discussion and controversy in the LGBT community over how to deal with our opponents (or former opponents); do we combat the anger, hatred, and bigotry of our opponents with peace, love, respect, and forgiveness? Or do we instead stoop to the same low that they stoop to, and respond with anger, resentment, bitterness, and hatred of our own? I think that the responses in the LGBT community to former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman coming out yesterday are very very telling of how many of us choose to deal with such individuals.
From the popular blog Joe.My.God. here are some comments on one of Joe Jervis' pages about the situation...
1. Oh, he's "gosh-darn sorry about those eleven states"!? This changes everything! I totally forgive him now! NOT! BURN THIS FUCKER AT THE STAKE! Nobody wants you around anymore you worthless coward. Go ahead and get it over with, Ken.
2. Slime Slime Slime, self hating "queer" Sorry He will never be welcome in my community. The harm he and his party has done cannot be measured and I am shocked he has any friends. Once a rat always a rat. I wouldn't trust him farther than I can spit!
3. Thanks for keeping this front and center Joe. We should not make it easy for this monster to join our ranks.
Loathing-Piece-Of-Shit. Just crawl off into a deep, dark hole and die already.
And these my friends are just some of the comments on the JMG page. And though I realize that JMG readership does not pertain to the entirety of the LGBT community, I feel that the undercurrents of anger, bitterness, resentment, and hatred on that website (within some of the commenter's) are symbols of a bigger problem within the LGBT community.
5. Rot in hell with your fuckbuddy Dumb Dubya you miserable FUCKWIT!
To often we allow such anger and resentment to slide, because we tell ourselves "we have the right to be angry, because those people are persecuting and oppressing us". I have bought into that argument, yet does this attitude work? Does reveling in our anger against our oppressors actually accomplish anything? Yes it may feel good at the time, it may release some of the strain that we have to deal with in our hearts and minds, but is it productive in the grand scheme of things? Does our anger and virulent hatred against our opponents turn off the moderates instead of welcome them in?
Would any of us join in an angry protest in front of a church, yelling slurs like the fuck, cunt, bitch, piece of shit? Would any of us scream at the top of our lungs that these people are not deserving of any sort of life, and instead that they themselves should rot in the pit of hell? No, we would not advocate doing such a thing, because that would make us no better than those "Christians" who oppose marriage equality and do that to us. Yet once we step into the realm of the online world, somehow that makes our insults and bitterness ok and acceptable, because we are angry and we should express our anger. Somehow the online world gives us the freedom to throw around racial slurs, homophobic comments, and expletives with no abandon? When I go onto anti-marriage equality websites to just read articles for this blog, I am amazed by the ignorance exhibited in their own comments section. People who are against us calling us names that I will not even repeat here. Yet I go to websites like JMG, and we are doing the same. I have had to delete comments on this blog because people have used it as a medium for angry diatribes; diatribes that have no place in a professional and respectful discussion.
Am I saying that we cannot be angry? Of course not; as my readers know, I am one who states things as they are very plainly, and sometimes even with a touch of anger. Yet should we use our anger to attack others? Absolutely NOT!! For to do so makes us no better than our opponents, and actually hurts our goal of equal rights. Our goal is to show the world that we are deserving of our rights (as sad as that statement seems), and anger, bitterness, and hatred do nothing to further that goal, it only alienates those people who would possibly come to our aid.
What do you all think about this topic? How should we deal with those who fight against us? How should we treat those like Ken Mehlman who want to be on our side yet have a "past"? What is the appropriate response? Your comments are appreciated...just remember be respectful.